The Neosho County Health Department and Chanute USD 413 nursing staff administered more than 200 vaccinations to district employees Friday.
Superintendent Kellen Adams said the shots were given in three sessions, the first for transportation employees and the third in the afternoon for teachers. The second session was for custodial staff, secretaries, class aides, food service and other employees able to get time away from their duties during the day.
Adams applauded the health department and school nurses for organizing the event on short notice. He said officials were still in the planning stages when they found out Wednesday that the shipment was coming.
The shots were the Moderna vaccine and school staff will receive a second dose in four weeks.
Neosho County Health Department Administrator Teresa Starr said the department administered the first 50 doses it received, mainly to first responders and frontline healthcare workers, and the vaccinations for Chanute schools were part of a shipment of 300 doses.
She said they plan to do all school districts in the county and ANW Greenbush, because teachers and school staff have the potential to make up to 140 contacts a day.
“We will get as many as we can, as fast as we can,” Starr said.
The school vaccinations are part of the Phase 2 immunization schedule and Chanute was the first district to be vaccinated. Starr said she was not sure if the remaining doses will be enough for Erie, Thayer, St. Paul, Galesburg and all the county schools.
“We consider everybody of high importance,” Starr said, adding that she has not had a vaccination herself because she wants it to go to someone more vulnerable.
Chanute nursing homes and assisted-living centers are also giving vaccinations to staff and residents.
Country Place resident nurse Michelle Stockstill said a clinic to administer the first vaccine doses will be Jan. 30 and that everyone was signed up. She said the center had three people who contracted the disease but they are out of quarantine, and Country Place was the last facility in the county to have a COVID-19 case.
A spokesperson for Guest Home Estates said residents and staff have already received the first dose and the second dose will be administered Feb. 2. But she added that anyone who has had the disease will have to wait 90 days for the vaccine.
Both locations contracted with Walgreens to receive the vaccine.
Diversicare residents and staff will also receive their second doses on Feb. 2. The CVS pharmacy is administering the Pfizer vaccine.
Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center has administered 358 doses to Phase 1 patients under state guidelines, but no additional vaccine was available Friday.
“The staff of Neosho Memorial appreciates the community’s support in practicing the three Ws: wear a mask, wash hands frequently, watch your distance - and please stay home when ill,” Chief Executive Officer Dennis Franks said.
Ashley Clinic reported that it is still gathering information, but will follow the phased-approach guidelines.